Circuit & System Protection


Port protection IC for MCUs tailored to USB-C dual-role power

24 November 2021 Circuit & System Protection

The STMicroelectronics TCPP03-M20 USB Type-C port protection IC is tailored for Dual-Role Power (DRP) applications, simplifying the design of products that can act as a power source for connected devices as well as accepting power from other USB-C sources.

When used as a companion chip with STM32G0, STM32G4, STM32L5 and STM32U5 microcontrollers that contain ST’s UCPD (USB Type-C and Power Delivery) interface IP, the TCPP03-M20 enables a cost-effective partitioning of the USB Type-C implementation. Product designers can achieve a two-chip solution with the STM32 as the host microcontroller, saving bill-of-materials costs, PCB space and circuit complexity.

As defined in the USB Type-C specification, a USB-C dual-role device such as a smart speaker, smartphone, tablet, laptop or camera, has the ability to dynamically change its power role from sink to source as well as its USB data role from device to host (and vice versa). This enables new use-cases to preserve and share energy between battery-powered devices, as well as to extend device interoperability. The USB DRP capability defined in the Type-C specification allows any USB devices with the ST chip inside to charge the battery of a connected device.

The TCPP03-M20 is built with ST’s BCD process, recently accredited as an IEEE Milestone, to combine logic and high-voltage circuitry on the same chip, enhancing integration and reliability. The technology enables ±8 kV ESD protection (IEC61000-4-2 Level 4), over-voltage and over-current protection to be implemented on the same chip. These are needed to guard against unintended short circuits or connection of defective equipment and comply with the USB-C Power Delivery specification. The chip integrates switches for the USB-C port VCONN and CC lines, a charge pump with two N-channel MOSFET gate drivers for source and sink power path, VBUS and VCONN power-path discharge circuitry and dead-battery management.

Optimised for ultra-low power consumption, the TCPP03-M20 is dedicated to the USB DRP use case to ensure optimum efficiency. Standalone power sink and power source applications are handled using ST’s TCPP01-M12 and TCPP02-M18 BCD ICs respectively. Like all ST’s TCPP products, the TCPP03-M20 is compliant with the latest features of the USB-C PD specification 3.1 Standard Power Range (SPR), including PPS (Programmable Power Supply).


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